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BED0FR0SES Posts: 420
6/17/13 6:46 P

I'm actually only taking an online class, so I only come to campus once every week or so, typically in the late afternoon for meetings. =/

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
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Posts: 748
6/17/13 1:53 P

How frequently are you on campus? The gym on my campus is open from 5:30 am to midnight during the week. I go early in the morning and it's not as crowded, especially during the summer. The people I see there now are community members (seniors, people that have to get to work by 8 or so in the morning, professors, and some students). It sucks to get up that early but it's nice being able to get things done in the morning. Plus, the parking is fantastic early in the morning.

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
6/17/13 1:29 P

I bought a box of weight plates with bars at walmart for 25 bucks. It can take you up to more weights then you are doing now. I also got my resistance band at big 5 and it goes up to 75 lbs.

BED0FR0SES Posts: 420
6/17/13 10:30 A

Thanks, everybody!

I will check out those books that were suggested. :)

And to clarify: I don't intend on forever sticking to 15lb weights, it is just my starting point. A friend who does Crossfit gave me tips on picking a weight to start at, and it led me to the 15 lb dumbbells.

I have a yearlong membership to a pole fitness studio, and so I also use body resistance during that class (which I take once or twice a week), but because I pay for that I cannot afford to get a standard gym membership as well. I have access to the gym on campus but it is across town, parking is impossible, and its usually so crowded there's waiting for even the weight machines.

It's nice to see so many of the posters here are ladies, you guys rock and give me hope that one day I will be very strong :D

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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Posts: 2,744
6/17/13 8:17 A

Other places to look for cheap equipment are Marshalls/TJ Maxx and Fitcycle is a site dedicated to people selling equipment and even gym memberships they don't use anymore. For example, if I move but still have 6 months left on my gym contract, I'll put it up on Fitcycle to see if anyone will buy me out.

Another great book is You Are Your Own Gym.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,760
6/17/13 8:14 A

You can also check out stores like Big Lots, they have relatively cheap weights.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
6/17/13 6:44 A

"You say you want to "get strong and see muscle development".

Hate to say it but you're never going to achieve this lifting such light weights - you need to join a gym with serious weights."

No, she doesn't need to join a gym to get strong and see muscle development. I workout in my living room and have gotten pretty ripped over the last 6 months. I've achieved serious muscle gain on a calorie deficit against all odds to boot. My husband works out in our back yard (yes, he has his bench out there and weights) and no one would say he doesn't look like he works out.

To OP: I highly recommend picking up the book: The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe and Alwyn Cosgrove.

They have an excellent routine you can follow that can be modified for a home workout as well as plenty of up to date information on strength training for women.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/17/2013 (06:55)
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
6/17/13 6:36 A


I half agree. Yes you do need to lift heavy. But you don't need to belong to a gym to do so.

You can still genuinely challenge your muscles with ADVANCED bodyweight exercises. For example, single leg squats are probably more challenging than 200 lbs on a squat machine. Decline pushups are probably more challenging than 80 lb bench presses, etc.

You're certainly not doing anything wrong - my point is that it is not the only way to do things.


Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 6/17/2013 (06:55)
DETOX55 SparkPoints: (1,380)
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
Posts: 124
6/17/13 3:34 A

You say you want to "get strong and see muscle development".

Hate to say it but you're never going to achieve this lifting such light weights - you need to join a gym with serious weights.

To give you an idea, I'm a middle aged woman who squats over 200 pounds, bench presses over 80 pounds, bicep curls over 30 pounds...etc....I do 3 or 4 sets of 10-12 reps.

I'm in good shape and strong, but don't look muscular...

SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
Fitness Minutes: (97,762)
Posts: 246
6/16/13 11:37 P

Garage sales are a great place to pick up workout equipment like weights. Also, do you have Freecycle where you live? If you don't know what that is, Google it; it's a wonderful system for people to give things away for, yes, free.

BED0FR0SES Posts: 420
6/15/13 2:42 P

Thanks for the tips everybody! I will definitely check out garage sales, craigslist, etc.

and I'll do my best not to be embarrassed about my struggle with lifting weights, but no promises! :P

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
6/14/13 8:53 P


"Embarassingly difficult to lift" is actually good.

Strength training is meant to be challenging, and is meant to be working your muscles at close to their maximum capacity.

A weight heavy enough that you can only do 4 reps with before your muscles are fatigued is actually more effective strength training that one where you can comfortably do 12-15 reps (or even more).

Lift heavy!!!


FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
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6/14/13 6:24 P

I do my strength training at home and use dumbbells and my body weight. Right now, I only have 10 lb dumbbells. I know that I need to get heavier ones but the work for now. I do have a 6 lb medicine ball that I am using. Well, I have just started to use it to increase my core exercises. The body weight exercises are don't have to use anything but your body. Of course, you need to make sure you use good form (which is something I need to keep working on).

In terms of equipment, try garage sales (especially if it's a moving sale) or even Craigslist. Thrift stores (as mentioned in another post) is a great idea. Go to places like Good Will or the Salvation Army.

BETE2013 Posts: 62
6/14/13 2:03 P

Bedofroses, I agree that equipment can be expensive. I suggest you check out your local thrift stores. I got a pair of 1-lb weights (for weighted, indoor walking routines) for $1.99 each and just a few weeks ago found one 10-lb dumbbell for $.99. Granted, there was only the one. But even if I pay full price for another one in the store to match it, it's almost like getting 2-for-1. Those things can add up quickly. Just an idea.

BED0FR0SES Posts: 420
6/13/13 10:54 A

Thanks, guys! I will definitely purchase some resistance bands, and until I can afford to splurge on a barbell, I will use my 5 lb dumbbells to supplement my 15 lb ones (when those get too easy, right now they are embarrassingly difficult to lift). I already do push ups and planks, I think I just need to motivate myself to do more.

I'm hearing/reading that I should be doing weight training every other day...before I was only doing it once a week because I do pole fitness 1-2 a week and go running 4 times a week...should I let pole fitness count as strength training, or work with my weights after those classes as well?

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
6/13/13 8:00 A

You may be able to find a pair of dumbbells with adjustable weights for around $80 if you shop around.

I've been there though, all I had was 5 lbs weights to start and wasted about 4-5 months with those. Then for Christmas my mom bought me some 8 lbs and a set of 2 lbs, 3 lbs and 5 lbs. Although, I appreciated the gift... what the heck am I suppose to do with 2 lbs weights? That is not going to build strength or muscle, not even close to challenging enough when 5 lbs aren't. I told how much I love how she bought me new weights because I really need them but needed something more challenging and I wouldn't use that set. So she gave me the money instead so I could exchange it for heavier weights. I bought a pair of 15 lbs.

Then I learned how to strength train effectively... that I need to be consistently moving up in weight. It wasn't long before I outgrew my 8lbs. So I started pairing weights. My 5's and 15's together, awkwardly to equal 20 lbs.

I was talking to my inlaws about my workouts and brought up that my weights are no longer challenging enough. They just happened to have a set of plastic weighted adjustable barbells sitting in their basement that they never use. So I got those! Yippee! My husband has a pair but the idea of constantly changing each other's weight seemed annoying. Plus, he works out outside, myself... inside. I just didn't want to bother him with it. But now I really need to start using his barbell and bench because my dumbbells are not enough weight for certain exercises... just trying to get up the courage, I guess. I still feel intimidated even though I know I shouldn't.

Anyways, it takes time to build a home gym. So just do what you can with what you have. As others have mentioned, there are more challenging body weight exercises you can do and resistance bands are affordable. If you have to, just do higher reps in the meantime to muscle exhaustion. It will take longer but you will still reap benefits.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
6/13/13 6:55 A

You can get in a great strength workout using just your own bodyweight for resistance:
* squats/lunges
* deadlifts
* planks
* pushups
* pullups/lat pull downs/bent over dumbbell rows.

Adjustable dumbbell sets are slightly more expensive than individual fixed weights, but they can grow with you as your strength increases and are cheaper than a full fange of fixed weights.

Resistance bands should also be a key element of a home gym - cheap ($10-20), versatile and easily storable.


BED0FR0SES Posts: 420
6/12/13 11:08 P

I only have 3,5,10, and 15 lb weights at my home currently, so I will try doing it that way. It was alarming how expensive things are, I ended up spending 60 at walmart for the two 15 lb weights and the kettle ball! My gym is now across town from me since I moved, so I was thinking I'd save gas $$ and workout more if i had a small home gym, now I'm rethinking that wisdom...

MRSTIGHTWAD SparkPoints: (1,172)
Fitness Minutes: (2,769)
Posts: 80
6/12/13 10:52 P

You have everything right at your fingertips that you need.

First.....let's talk about plyometrics - exercising using body weight only. By taking a cross fit approach, you will see muscle gains. There are a lot of videos and websites (as well as fanpages on FB) that can give you some great routines to do every other day.

Second.....overload your reps to build strength and a set of 5 reps @ 5 lbs, then a set of 6, then a set of 7....all the way up to 10 reps. Before you realize it, you will have done a total of 45 reps. Make sure you take 30-60 seconds in between each set. The next time, do it with 3-4 sets of 10 reps, then pyramid again with 10lb dumbbells, and so on and so forth. will outgrow those 15lb dumbbells pretty quickly!

That should get you well on your way.

BED0FR0SES Posts: 420
6/12/13 10:40 P

Hello all!

I am trying to incorporate heavier weight lifting to my exercise program (e.g. lifting 15 lb weights for 5-10 reps instead of 5 lbs weights for 30 reps), but I'm limited in my gym equipment. I currently have 1 set of 15 lb dumbbells and a 10 lb kettle ball. I'm looking to get strong, I want to really see muscle development. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a program, dvd, book, etc. to hep me start off? So far I've been doing some basic stuff in my living room, but I tend to work better with a strict regime...

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